WASHINGTON, D.C. — Missouri Republicans are determined to advance a series of voter suppression bills despite a rising tide of criticism from corporations and voters. A key state House committee is considering a measure that would make it illegal for county clerks to send unsolicited absentee ballot applications to eligible voters — a practice used in 2020 in Missouri and states across the country that helped increase voter turnout. House Bill 1362 would make sending applications a class four election offense, which comes with a misdemeanor charge.
The Elections and Elected Officials Committee also approved redundant legislation that would make a one-word change to the Missouri Constitution. Where it currently reads “all citizens of the United States” who meet other eligibility requirements can vote, Rep. Curtis Trent (R) proposed a revision to read “only citizens of the United States” can vote. Mo Del Villar of the ACLU of Missouri called the change “symbolic and highly unnecessary” and argued it was intended to stir up false fears that before this revision, noncitizens were allowed to vote in Missouri. This is not the case.